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Toolbar Without Sidebar in Finder Windows

In a previous version of Mac OS X—was it Panther?—Apple introduced the Sidebar (see Figure 8). It then tied the Sidebar to the revised Toolbar at the top of the window, so that when you hid the Toolbar, the Sidebar would disappear, too (see Figure 9).

Figure 8

Figure 8 The Sidebar is at the left side of a Finder window.

Figure 9

Figure 9 When you hide the Toolbar, the Sidebar disappears, too.

You know how to hide or display the Toolbar, right? There are three ways:

  • Click the button shaped like a Tic Tac in the upper-right corner of a window.
  • Choose Hide Toolbar or Show Toolbar from the View menu.
  • Press Option-Command-T to toggle the Toolbar display.

Sometimes you might want to keep the Toolbar but hide the Sidebar. Let’s face it, the Sidebar takes up a lot of valuable real estate, and not many of us are lucky enough to have a 30-inch Cinema Display. (I’m not.) The toolbar has some useful buttons—especially the three view buttons, which I use quite often—and can be made even more useful by customization. So you might want to get rid of the Sidebar but not the Toolbar.

Fortunately, it’s easy. Just double-click the divider between the Sidebar and the rest of the window. The Sidebar disappears but the toolbar remains (see Figure 10). If you’re not part of the over-45 set who needs glasses for close vision, you might notice the tiny dot on the divider line that shifts to the left side of the window when the Sidebar is hidden. Think of that as the "double-click button." Double-click it to get the Sidebar back.

Figure 10

Figure 10 A window with a Toolbar but no Sidebar.

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